NORTH VISTA PRINCIPAL SHARON DIXON EXCITED ABOUT HER NEW SCHOOL
Open House set for Saturday, Aug. 16 There will be a community-wide open house for the newly constructed North Vista Elementary School on Saturday, Aug. 16, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. The new school is located 1100 North Irby Street. The public is invited to attend.
Simone T. Owens Summer Intern
Merely two months ago, North Vista Elementary faculty and staff were scrambling to move things out of the school before demolition started to make room for a new building. In the last few weeks, the faculty and staff have been working diligently to prepare the new building to welcome students back on Aug. 18. The old building previously known as North Vista opened in 1954. It was torn down after June 12 due to normal wear and tear brought on by aging. Some construction is still going on outside of the school, but the inside is well prepared to accommodate students when they return.
“Every minute of it has been a challenge, but faculty and staff are meeting and exceeding expectations,” says Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, Lionel Brown. Principal Sharon Dixon has been an employee at North Vista for 18 years, and she says the response from the Florence community has been extremely positive. “People are excited. The number of people that I have seen walking and driving by North Vista has been astronomical,” says Dixon.
The old North Vista had around 658 students last school year, but the new building has a maximum capacity of 1,200. At 105,000 sq. ft., North Vista will now be the largest elementary school in the district. “We have to build schools for the future for program development,” says Brown. The new building contains wireless internet connection, the latest version of the Smart board, a multipurpose room which has a movable wall that allows it to be merged with the cafeteria in order to allow more students in the area at once. Also students will now have access to laptops so that they can move around and do their work.
Brown says that the new additions will be a tremendous help to teachers as well. “We have to make sure that teachers have what they need to effectively teach throughout the years. The new facility supplies that,” says Brown. Dixon is looking forward to the new learning opportunities that the new school will offer students. “My vision is that we have a school where every child is safe, can maximize their learning and get as much education as possible in the new facility,” says Dixon. Construction currently underway outside of the school is where parking for staff, faculty, visitors, and parents will be situated. It is expected to be completed by November or December of this year.